Fat deals with the topic of food addiction from the perspective of an obese male named Ken. Director Mark Phinney aims to show viewers the common conflicts a fat person must face internally and externally. As a fat person, this topic is familiar and I’ve been thirsty for an effective film that explores these conflicts. Echoes in my head of people wondering “why can’t fat people just eat less?” reminds me that we need such a film. For many, it’s an addiction and the problem usually isn’t really about food.
Unfortunately, Fat is not the film I hoped for. Somehow, despite being fat, I often felt like I couldn’t relate. It’s less that it’s missing the right moments but more that it just plays them in a way that didn’t feel true. The things people say to Ken and the things he proclaims to feel are very relatable. But while Phinney dissects the issue well, the acting often felt too unreal. The acting reminded me of a slightly overdone school play exploring an important issue. It’s unfortunate, because this might have been something special with a better cast. What’s missing from Fat is the humanity.
Project Wild Thing is a bit silly and over-the-top, but I appreciate its endeavor to “advertise” nature like a business advertises its product (think McDonald’s commercials but for nature… like trees, forests, animals, rivers, air). The film is directed by and stars David Bond, who literally introduces himself to people as the Marketing Director of Nature. As a modern British citizen, he noticed the extreme attachment of citizens to their devices, especially children, which resulted in far less time outdoors. He wondered: why don’t they like to go outside and how can we get them to embrace the outdoors? Thus, he decided to “market” nature. Yeah, I cringed at his marketing ploy as well, and I studied marketing in college.
In the film, Bond speaks with advocates for nature, marketers, and children to figure out why people don’t love nature, why it’s such a great thing, and how to market it to children. The whole notion of treating nature like a product quickly grows tiresome. It’s cute at first but not much more than that. That being said, it’s still an admirable pursuit resulting in some worthwhile moments; especially when he’s speaking with his “target market” of children about nature. David is right that nature is amazing. I wish he’d spent more time exploring why children don’t take to nature, or relishing in nature’s amazingness, and less time on speaking with advertising executives. This film isn’t great, but it is of interest. Maybe wait for a home video release.